Hannah Crawford is a first year Child and Youth Care student at Algonquin College in Ottawa. This program teaches students how to help troubled, or struggling youth get back to their right track. Hannah also graduated from Willis College in Ottawa in 2016. Here, she took Addictions and Community Service Worker and intends to complete this program to further her knowledge for the best approach at working with others.

Throughout these programs, there have been interactive assignments or activities that offer a practical way of applying concepts. For example, in the Child Development course students were required to oversee a childcare environment and describe their learning (social, emotional, cognitive, motor). With Adolescent Development students were required to “raise” a virtual teenager, using the skills learned in each lesson to try and have a child that graduates high school, and didn’t end up in jail. Through Willis College, I got practical experience in the field by completing placement hours at the Rape Crisis Centre. This allowed me to learn counselling styles from other people in the field of helping, and exercise administrative strengths in Microsoft Office.

Attached is Hannah’s Linkedin account, listing in detail the courses completed.


Interview Summary

I got to conduct an interview with a CYW that influenced my decision to work to become one. The questions I asked centered mostly on the likes and dislikes of the profession, self-care, and whether it is difficult to leave work at work due to emotions. The likes were being able to grow alongside clients, building our skills in the field while they build their skills for life. The dislikes were knowing a client’s potential, but having to face their stubbornness to overcome the challenge. The CYW’s knows the answer, but we can’t force someone to take the help. The CYW expressed that sometimes because of a client’s unwillingness to make better choices, or trauma that they share, it can be difficult to leave things at the door. Therefore, self-care is super important, because to be the best for clients, we have to also be the best for ourselves.

Case Study

Present Situation:

Sarah is a 16-year-old resident at the Sunnyside residential facility for troubled youth. Sarah has been a resident for 3 weeks, and on July 13, 2017 she had a doctor’s appointment and got the news that she is pregnant. Sarah is determined to be a mother, but this facility is not equipped with the necessary classes and resources for young parents.

Client Background:

Sarah was brought to our facility because her home situation was not ideal. Her father was not in the home, and her mother has severe substance abuse problems and was mentally unavailable to serve Sarah’s basic needs and emotions. Sarah began rebelling, skipping school, hanging out with an older crowd, and participating in petty theft.

Clients Strengths/Needs:

Sarah enrolled in an alternative schooling program at Fredrick Banting on June 25, 2017 working toward her high school diploma. She asks staff members for help if she gets overwhelmed or confused with the work. She has abided by curfew as she is aware of the consequences of breaking the rules. Sarah thrives in structures environments and it is clear she was falling behind because of the lack of structure and guidance. Sarah needs to be in a facility that supports her desire to parent, that is also structured.

Available Resources:

St. Marys Home;

St. Mary’s Home offers support to young mothers through parenting and prenatal classes, counselling, and life skills classes. There is also a structured residential facility that I recommend Sarah be on the waitlist for to ensure success in parenting. There is schooling on site.

Bethany Hope Centre;

Bethany Hope Centre is centrally located, and offers parenting and prenatal classes, schooling, counselling, and life skills classes. However, there is no residence.

It would be my recommendation that Sarah enroll in classes at this location until she is able to move into St. Mary’s Home for easier access to that facility.

Reflection Questions:

Are there any other community resources that could help Sarah to achieve her goal to parent?

How can staff support Sarah while she is still at the Sunnyside Residential Facility?

Resources for Child and Youth Workers

  1. Scheyett, A. (2015) Social Workers as Superhero’s. TEDxColumbiaSC

Retrieved from:

This video is presented by Dr. Anna Scheyett, the dean of Columbia University. She puts into perspective the assumptions that are made by others about social workers, like the lady that is judging your parenting. She goes into detail about all of the things that social workers do. It is a good resource to remind CYW’s of their importance.

2. Lombard, J. (July 2002) Creating Safe Professional Spaces: Regulation of Child and Youth Care.

Retrieved from:

The article above goes into detail of the work required by child and youth workers. I included this because it can be a useful tool to remain effective in the field.

3. Crowell, N (2015) 5 Must See TED talks for Social Workers. Social Worker Success.

Retrieved from:

I find most TED talks to be quite inspirational.

4. CMHO: Children’s Mental Health Ontario. (2017)

Retrieved from:

This website is a great resource for child and youth workers. It is filled with useful resources for parents, youth, children, and professionals. Kids Help Phone, Dare to Dream and Mood Disorder Association to name a few.

5. Child and Youth Mental Toolkits

Retrieved From:

This resource is great. The content offers interactive phone apps, YouTube videos, websites, and games to offer help and coping mechanisms for a variety of mental health problems found in children.


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Image from:

9054ab237889fecfb86e5135f1bf646dThis picture represents this quote well. Here, two people receive the same message but there is a huge lack of specific information. Misunderstandings happen often. It is important to communicate effectively and directly. If the man in this visual brought home a red limousine, the woman would be disappointed. However the entire conflict could have been avoided had they shared their ideas and listened attentively to one another. Conflict will most likely arise during misunderstandings often and can easily be avoided by making sure the other party has understood exactly what you’re saying.

Flash Cards

Students were asked to look at a list of 200 words that Child and Youth workers use or should know. The task was to write a few of the words and their definitions on flash cards and try to use them more often.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Up ↑